New Year, Fresh Food
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health… 3 John 1:2 (NIV)
January brings renewed optimism for change, and for better health. Start the year fresh, with these nourishing, veggie-packed recipes. Enjoy!
Mason Jar Salads
Mason jars are the official china of the South, and you can put them to use beyond storing preserved foods. Mason jars make great meal prep containers, helping you take fresh food on-the-go.
Use pintsized jars for overnight oats, or building breakfast or afternoon fruit and yogurt partitas. Bring out the wide mouth jars for assembling hearty salads for lunch. The fresh and fun combinations or fruits and vegetables are endless.
You want to work your way from the bottom up when creating a salad in your mason jar. Start with 1-2 Tbsp. of your dressing of choice on the bottom. Next add in sturdy vegetables that won’t wilt sitting in your dressing: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, or radishes, to name a few. Then add chopped vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, or legumes, nuts, or seeds. Stuff the rest with a dark leafy green. Seal and store in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to eat your mason jar salad, turn it upside down and give it a shake-shake. Allow the dressing to cover the vegetables. Eat straight out of the jar, or pour onto a plate and top with your choice or chicken, fish, or sliced steak.
You will be shouting hurray, every time you enjoy a serving of this homemade hummus. It’s rich, it’s creamy, and it’s good for you. This dip is perfect for snack time served with vegetables, and whole wheat pita chips. Skip the mayo and spice up your sandwiches, and wraps by using hummus as the spread. Add a scoop to salads instead of bacon or cheese. *Note, there are plenty of quality store-bought hummus options, making it at home, however, offers a fresher taste, and personal satisfaction.
- 15-ounce chickpeas, drained
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 Tbsp. tahini
- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. salt and pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 1 lemon, juiced
Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend till smooth.
Orzo Stuffed Peppers
This has the potential to be the prettiest thing you cook in 2019. Make no mistake, this is not a difficult recipe, but it does require multiple steps. These peppers are filled with flavor and fiber, offering a tasty way to get in multiple vegetables. You can skip stuffing a pepper, and cook the orzo mix and serve it as a side dish.
- 1 cup Orzo
- 4 colored peppers
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup carrots, finely shredded
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Tbsp. garlic
- 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper.
- 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
Preheat your oven to 425F. Cut peppers in half through the stem, seeds discarded. Place peppers cut side down on a greased baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, until they are slightly softened. Flip peppers cut-side up and let cool. Turn oven down to 350F.
Cook the orzo (sub with wild rice) per directions. Drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and sauté until vegetables softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes, cook till tender. Add orzo, oregano, parsley, and ½ cup cheese (optional), and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon orzo mixture into the cavity of the peppers, sprinkle with remaining cheese (optional). Bake for 25 minutes or until top of pasta is golden and peppers are well cooked.
Rebecca Turner is a registered dietitian, author of “Mind Over Fork,” and radio host. Reach her at RebeccaTurner.com or on social media @theRebeccaTurner.